This gorgeous photo started off as a challenge to describe, but with some close investigation of the photo and a little outside research, the mystery was solved! First, I assumed that the photo is from 1901, since it is written twice on the back. Second, I know that the photo was taken by the Seckner photo studio because it is stamped in the lower right-hand corner. Third, if you look closely, you can see the “CAC” insignia on the men’s hats –these are Colorado Agricultural College (later, CSU) students. The mystery was, who are these students, and which building is that?
With the help of our wonderful volunteer, Doug, we were able to determine that this is the sub-freshman (i.e., prospective freshman) class at Colorado Agricultural College in 1901. I confirmed that the building is Old Main by comparing it to other photos of Old Main at that time. Then, Doug actually found the photo in question in a 1903 yearbook! We could then confirm the date of the photograph to be 1901, and as an added bonus we found the sub-freshman roster!
My favorite part of this photograph is the woman in front who is so over posing for this photo.